View Full Version : Power Jibe: how to flip the sail

5th June 2007, 10:39 PM

I would consider myself an experienced windsurfer and I am quite happy with my jibes. Problem is: when flipping the sail (small sails as well as big sails like an 8.5) I still do the "boom to mast to boom" technic. Well, I often read (and have been told) that the "boom to boom" technic was much better, faster and efficienter. Fact is, that sometimes I have difficulties to grap the mast which results in a bad jibe. Question is wether I really should try to change the way I flip the sail or if I should just do as I did for so many years.
Will I gain much from a change (which will take an old man like me some time, I'm afraid)?

All comments appreciated.


6th June 2007, 09:05 AM
I can do the boom to boom method but I dont know if its any better or more efficient. For a slower wider carve jibe when I start to flip the sail I let my front hand slide along the boom until its next to the mast and the rig pivots around this front hand until I let go and grab the boom on the other side.

With fast tight carve jibes the same applies but everything happens in the blink of an eye.

I think the secret is when the rig starts to rotate you pull it closer to your body with your front hand which makes it easier to rotate and you are in a better, more balanced position to grab the boom on the other side when it flips.

This is assuming your doing everything else correct going into the jibe, fully committed, knees bent leaning into the turn. Maybe thats not the best explanation but thats how I sort of visualize it.

6th June 2007, 03:25 PM
basically 2 approaches
I) place mast hand further forward and with a giant tug pull the sail around grabbing with old clew hand to mast end of boom as far back as possible
-- advantage: no sliding your hand forward on the boom during sail flip
-- disadvantage: can't lean sail as far forward and into curve as with front hand close to harness line (and stayig low at the same time)
II) place mast hand close to harness, and -as Egor described- let it slip closer to mast and then tug mast into new direction, sail follows. You can help getting the mast closer to your mast hand with your clew hand tugging/pushing a bit
-- advantage, you can lean sail further into curve (downforce)
-- disadvantage, a little more balance/technique necessary

I used to do I) whith sails up to 9.5 and now am more and more often doing it like II), transistion takes a while but I find it helps with borderline gybes.

the boom-mast-boom method when well preformed (very quick) will not loose much but boom to boom is more efficient (you are quicker out under power and you can stay lower == level and power).

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7th June 2007, 01:21 AM

The power gybe is the only one I ever learne to do, so I have had lots of good ones and lots of bad ones and I think I know the reasons for the difference.

The one key that makes the boom to boom work well and seem effortless and quick is this: When you are ready to flip the sail and have your front arm straight and pushing the mast/sail forward, and your back hand is sheeted in, you should make a quick forceful motion with both hands at virtually the same time. Yank the front hand(and therefore the mast) toward your chest while "throwing" the back of the boom away from you.

When you do this with the correct balance and with enough force, the sail rotates all by itself and the other side of the boom simply appears in the correct position for you to grab it amd hook in. This method requires a full commitment to the sail flip, but if you give it a solid push/pull at the correct time, it works like magic.

On the other hand, when I have done poor gybes, it has resulted from not such forceful front hand pull/back hand push, but I still end up never handling the mast, but rather grabbing the boom very far forward, near the mast after the sail flips. This is necessary because the sail has not rotated far enough to get both hands on the boom immediately.

The other thing that seems quite important is that the sail flip is done early in the gybe rather than waiting too long. If you wait too long, the sail starts to get somewhat backwinded, and the push with the back hand is not so easy to do.

My 2 cents worth.